Who’s Got Next? Updated Class of 2012 Rankings…

Posted by Josh Paunil on May 3rd, 2011

Who’s Got Next? is a weekly column by Josh Paunil, the RTC recruiting guru. We encourage you to check out his website dedicated solely to college basketball recruiting, National Recruiting Spotlight, for more detailed recruiting information. Each week he will bring you an overview of what’s going on in the complex world of recruiting, from who is signing where among the seniors to who the hot prospects are in the lower levels of the sport. If you have any suggestions as to areas we’re missing, please let us know at rushthecourt@yahoo.com. 

Introduction

With another passing week, there is plenty of recruiting news including standout performances at AAU events, commitments and de-commitments, and the latest news on where high-profile prospects are likely to go to college. However, the biggest revelation by far in this past week was a recruiting scandal at a mid-major D1 school that has yet to win an NCAA Tournament game but somehow managed to land two elite prospects. Read on to see how a young man from Chicago, a head coach at a mid-major basketball program and a high-profile former felon created the biggest recruiting scandal in the past few years.

What We Learned

Kevin Ware's recruitment exposed ties between UCF head coach Donnie Jones and convicted felon Kenneth Caldwell.

Kevin Ware’s Recruitment and Central Florida’s Recruiting Scandal. After class of 2011 shooting guard Kevin Ware committed to the Knights two weeks ago, he backed out of the agreement Thursday when he learned of Kenneth Caldwell’s background, a Chicago man with a substantial criminal record and apparent ties to a prominent sports agency. Ware claims that Caldwell repeatedly called him to encourage him to attend Central Florida, traveled to meet with his family and even set up conversations between Ware, himself and head coach Donnie Jones and Jones’ staff – contact which is prohibited by the NCAA. Caldwell formally denied recruiting players for UCF and claimed he was simply impressed by UCF… a school that has never won an NCAA Tournament game.

When Ware and his family were asked about what coaches said their relationship with Caldwell was, they said the coaches claimed they had no direct affiliation with him but that they had known him for a year. This left the Ware family wondering exactly who Caldwell was and how he tied in with UCF.  On his LinkedIn page, Caldwell claimed to be a recruiter of potential NBA players for ASM Sports, which the company later confirmed. What was even more frightening about Caldwell’s background were his two felony convictions in 1991 and again in 1998. He also owes the IRS close to $250,000. After looking at his history and claims, Caldwell could fairly be labeled as a “runner,” someone who acts as a middle man to deliver players to universities and agents.

How current UCF commit Michael Chandler Ties In. Caldwell’s ties to the UCF program started a few years ago when a high school student whom he refers to as his “son” committed to the Knights. Then, two more players whom Caldwell likes to call his “nephews” also chose UCF for their collegiate careers, including one of the best class of 2011 centers in the country, Michael Chandler. Before becoming a Knight, Chandler had previously committed to Louisville and Xavier before he shocked many people by settling on Central Florida. Chandler’s high school coach said he’d never even heard of Central Florida before Chandler committed there. However, Chandler’s uncle said the prospect chose UCF on its merits. In Pat Forde’s column this week analyzing the odd recruitment, he said a source with knowledge of the situation claimed that Caldwell bragged about having inside information of where Chandler would be attending college well before he made his decision public.

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Recruiting Rumor Mill: 08.16.10 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on August 16th, 2010

It looks like we can put the Anthony Davis/Chicago Sun-Times fiasco behind us now and get to the normal recruiting news.

  • The big news of the week was clearly Davis officially announcing that he had committed to Kentucky, which almost everybody knew he would for over a week.
  • In a somewhat refreshing decision, Isaiah Austin, one of the top recruits in the class of 2012, has decided to cut the suspense short when he announced last Monday that he had committed to Baylor over a long list of recruiting powers including Kentucky. Is this the first coveted recruit John Calipari has failed to land while he has been in Lexington? He might be slipping.
  • Speaking of Calipari (the man is everywhere during the recruiting season) he had another top recruit (Chane Behanan) visit Lexington on Wednesday. One of the interesting things about this is that Behanan, the top recruit in Kentucky and top 25 nationally who has been making a name for himself this summer, is still waiting for an offer from Kentucky. In the past this might have created an uproar in the Bluegrass State if Calipari had not been getting the best players from all over the nation.
  • On the other end of the spectrum, Fran McCaffery extended a scholarship offer from Iowa to Perry Ellis, a small forward ranked in the top 25 of the class of 2012 (he’s not the fashion designer). We know that McCaffery is obliged to do this, but when some of the other schools who have extended Ellis offers include Kentucky, Kansas (his home state), Kansas State (ditto), Memphis, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, and Wake Forest, we think McCaffery is essentially like this kid proposing to Megan Fox. Having said that, if any female supermodels would like to date a college basketball blogger, e-mail me at rushthecourt@gmail.com (recruiting tips are also welcome).
  • One of the more interesting pieces of news to come out this week was the possibility that Andre Drummond, rated as the top player in next year’s class, might be entering college a year early like Andre Dawkins did last year at Duke. His high school coach, however, says that no decision has been made at this point and he would talk it over with Drummond’s mother.
  • Josiah Turner, one of the top guards in this year’s class, has announced his recruiting visit list, but we would be remiss if we didn’t note his mother’s defense of Isiah Thomas.
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